The £2 billion of development projects that are coming Croydon's way are to be put on public show in the town centre.
The idea of staging a Croydon Expo follows years of success in featuring the borough at the world’s annual, top real estate summit, MIPIM (Marche International des Professionnels de l’Immoblier) in the south of France. More than 70 countries are expected to be represented at this year’s event.
Croydon routinely takes exhibition space alongside other London councils and benefits from exposure to around 21,000 professional visitors.
A key objective of putting on a Croydon Expo will be to highlight regeneration and business opportunities in the borough and to attract more external investment. However, the council believes it will also be an outstanding opportunity to involve local residents and to seek public views on the new regeneration ideas and service transformation projects.
Although the commercially sponsored participation usually pays for itself through the attention and investment it brings to Croydon’s own property market, the council believes there could be extra value from using the MIPIM exhibits as the cornerstone of a local display.
The centrepiece of each display will be a new three dimensional model that has been commissioned to illustrate Croydon's huge potential as ‘London’s Third City’ and to highlight the many new development proposals that are in the pipeline.
Said cabinet member for finance and regeneration, Councillor Tim Pollard: “Over £2 billion worth of redevelopment is already planned over the next ten years. This will have a major cultural and physical impact on the borough and Croydon Expo will be an opportunity to communicate to local businesses and to the public the vision of what can be realised through regeneration. It will also enable us to showcase proposals to developers and financiers on home ground. However, regeneration will form only one part of the Expo. We intend focusing on all aspects of change that are shaping what it will be like to live in Croydon over the next couple of decades.”
In addition to the many major building projects, Councillor Pollard anticipates Expo being a stage to show some of the other changes that are currently improving Croydon.
Although the event is being programmed for early summer, venues have yet to be fully determined. But all will be readily accessible in the town centre and some district centres, such as New Addington and Purley may have local versions of the display focusing on localised proposals such as the new pool, public amenities, housing and supermarket being planned for Central Parade.
With so many developers keen to promote their activity to a wider audience, the council is confident that costs can be covered through advertising and sponsorship. This revenue stream may be backed up, if necessary, through the current enterprise funding from which the borough is benefiting and from legal agreements with developers.